What To Expect For VM2020?

PropertY PeoplE PlaceS (YES) interviews Datuk MusaYusof, Director General, Tourism Malaysia, on what we can expect during this momentous year.

How are preparations for Visit Malaysia 2020 coming along?

Batu Caves, Malaysia (Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash)

DG: Various strategies have been undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as Tourism Malaysia. Led by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Malaysia showed strong presence at the 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, which was held from 14 to 18 January 2019. Malaysia’s participation in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 was fruitful as it opened various opportunities with international travel agents.

Apart from this, Malaysia took on the title of Official Partner Country to promote the destination’s beautiful culture and colourful nature at 2019’s ITB Berlin, which was held from 5 to 10 March, 2019. The title will garner opportunities for publicity globally as well as create the potential to reach out to key decision makers and top industry players.

In 2020, Malaysia will also host a series of international meetings, namely APEC, WCIT and CHOGM. It is the perfect time to promote Malaysia. As a host country, Malaysia will organise key meetings that involve top leaders from each country for both the government and private sector.

Tourism Malaysia and Airports Holdings Berhad are collaborating with various international airlines and tour operators via the Joint International Development Tourism Programme (JIDTP) to increase connectivity and develop attractive holiday packages to Malaysia.

In 2018, we have partnered with Malaysia Airlines, MASwings, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, China Southern Airlines, Scoot Air and Mahan Air under the JIDTP. In 2019, we have partnered  with three more new airlines such as Air Busan, Condor Air and Air Arabia to enhance connectivity to Malaysia.

Japanese multinational electronics giant, Sharp, will utilise its network of 20,000 retail outlets and 200,000 display panels across China, Japan, Taiwan, India and ASEAN region to promote Malaysia’s tourism video content using Sharp’s latest 8K technology.

Leading Malaysian carriers, namely Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly and Malindo Air, are partnering with Tourism Malaysia for promotional efforts through roadshows, digital marketing, familiarisation trips, etc.

An additional 6 entry points throughout Malaysia will offer Visa on Arrival facility for China and India nationals to provide ease of entry into Malaysia. Thus, in total there are 13 entry points with VOA facility for China and India nationals:


                  •  KLIA, Sepang
                  •  KLIA2, Sepang
                  •  Bayan Lepas Airport, Penang
                  •  Senai Airport, Johor
                  •  Kota Kinabalu Airport, Sabah
                  •  Kuching Airport, Sarawak
                  •  Sultan Abu Bakar Complex, Johor
                  •  Langkawi Airport, Kedah
                  •  Miri Airport, Sarawak
                  •  Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Selangor
                  •  Labuan Ferry Terminal
                  •  Sungai Tujoh Immigration Complex, Sarawak
                  • Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration Complex, Kedah

Last November, we promoted the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, United Kingdom. In an effort to enhance the promotional efforts in the UK, we had launched the Visit Malaysia 2020 Bus and Taxi Wrap campaign during the WTM. This campaign will provide the visibility needed to push Malaysian holidays and destinations to this market.

Efforts to promote and publicise Malaysia are also undertaken via Mega Familiarisation programmes where we bring in international media and agents to have a first-hand experience of Malaysia so they may write about Malaysia and create holiday packages that appeal to their market.

The grand launch of Visit Malaysia 2020 was held on 31 December 2019 at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the receptions at all 19 entrances to welcome tourists on the first day of VM2020.

Which areas in tourism are being emphasized for VM2020 e.g. ecotourism, medical tourism, arts and culture?

DG: This campaign focuses on ecotourism, arts and culture, befitting with the National Ecotourism Plan 2016-2025 and the National Culture Policy which places the ecotourism, arts and culture as the main focus and the path forward in the development of the tourism industry in Malaysia.

The Government has also announced that 2020 is the Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a health tourism and wellness destination in the region. Malaysia has received over 1.2 million healthcare travellers in 2018. The Malaysia Year of Healthcare Travel campaign will showcase Malaysia as a world-class destination for healthcare and wellness for all. Our expertise in Malaysia covers the areas of oncology, cardiology and fertility treatments.

What new infrastructure or facilities are being built to cater to more tourists?

DG: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is in the process of drafting the National Tourism Policy 2020-2050 which include accessible tourism. Among the measures taken was to set the criteria under the Malaysian Criteria for Classification of Tourist Accommodation Premises that at least one room equipped with facilities for the disabled should be provided by the accommodation premises under the OKU Act 2007.

Seamless connectivity is an important element in public transportation. With the completion of the 102m-long pedestrian bridge linking Pasar Seni LRT station with the KTM Kuala Lumpur station, tourists will be able to reach Masjid Negara and its vicinity such as Taman Tugu easily as it shortens the walking distance. The fully covered bridge is equipped with a bi-directional travelator which spans 50m.

What are some of the new tourism products that will be introduced during the VM2020 campaign?

DG: We will be promoting new products such as Desaru Coast in Johor, Sealife at Legoland, Selangor’s Sky Mirror and Blue Tears, as well as indoor theme parks (such as Superpark in Avenue K; My Best Box in Berjaya Times Square; Futureland Fun Zone in Sunway Pyramid; and The Rift in Mid Valley Mega Mall).

During the recent World Travel Market in London, we promoted the Trans-Borneo Cycling adventure, which is a 14-day exploration on two wheels of Sarawak and Sabah, via the Kingdom of Brunei.

Datuk Musa bin Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia

The journey passes through mangrove forests, plantations, beaches, and villages and beautiful landscapes beyond.

We are also leveraging on major events in Malaysia, especially business events such as the Malaysia-China Cooperation Year in 2019-2020, APEC meeting, etc.

The campaign’s promotional theme is “Culture, Nature and its People” – what are some of the big events or promotional activities that will spread this message in a powerful way?

DG: You may check out Tourism Malaysia’s Calendar of Events (CoE) at https://www.malaysia.travel.com

There are over hundreds of events lined up throughout the year; among the must-see events are the Malaysia Open House such as the Chinese New Year, Aidilfitri, Deepavali and Christmas, Thaipusam, Tadau Kaamatan and Gawai Festival (Harvest Festival).


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